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The Times
  • BOYS' BASKETBALL: West Canada Valley pulls out win in opener

  • NOVEMBER 30 BOYS' BASKETBALL



    Max Searles scored the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds then stole the ball to preserve a season-opening 55-54 win for West Canada Valley Friday against the Poland Tornadoes.

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  • WEST CANADA VALLEY 55, POLAND 54
    Max Searles scored the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds then stole the ball to preserve a season-opening 55-54 win for West Canada Valley Friday against the Poland Tornadoes.
    West Canada Valley had trailed by 16 points with six minutes left to play. The Indians went 9 1/2 minutes without a field goal at the start of the second half and trailed 46-30 before starting their comeback.
    “We have a bunch of guys up from the JV last year,” said D.J. Shepardson who made his varsity coaching debut following the retirement of longtime West Canada Valley coach Steve Porter, “and I told them, ‘Between you guys and me, I can honestly say, we’re never going to forget our first varsity game together.’”
    The largest Poland lead was 17 points following Ross Agen’s three-point play off an offensive rebound. Mike Sternberg scored the first West Canada Valley field goal of the second half on the Indians’ next possession; Jordan Yaworski drove and passed to Sternberg under the basket with 6:36 left to play.
    The Indians then went on a 17-1 run over a span of three minutes and 45 seconds and tied the game at 47. Bobby Davenport hit a three-point shot from the left corner and back-to-back steals led to layups by Searles as West Canada Valley capped its run with seven points in 13 seconds. Seales stole the ball and scored following Davenport’s shot then took pass from Ryan Grogan who made a steal of his own on Poland’s next attempt to get the ball in bounds.
    The game would be tied again at 49 and 51 without West Canada Valley taking a lead. Poland led 54-51 when Yaworski was fouled on a drive to the basket with 14.4 seconds left to play. Yaworski completed an 11-for-11 shooting night by hitting both of his free throws. The Indians quickly fouled and got the ball back when Poland missed its final free throws of the night. Grogan drove into the heart of Poland’s defense and passed to an open Searles on the right side of the lane for the go-ahead basket with 6.3 seconds on the clock.
    Following a Poland timeout, Searles stole the inbounding pass. Searles was fouled and missed two free throws but left the Tornadoes with only 2.4 seconds. Dustin DuBrule got the ball after the second miss, dribbled twice and threw the ball three-quarters of the length of the court, skimming the outside of the net as time expired.
    Yaworski led West Canada Valley with 22 points, including 13 in the final period. Searles scored all six of his points in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
    “He’s a kid off the bench and you don’t always see that coming,” Shepardson said of Searles. “He made some huge plays for us down the stretch.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Searles stepping up at the end reflects the depth Shepardson believes his team has.
    “We are fairly deep,” he said. “At the ends of games it can be a completely different lineup, depending on the night.”
    Agen scored 15 points and Mark Hennings grabbed 11 rebounds for Poland before both fouled out. Mark Shelhamer added 11 points and DuBrule scored nine.
    The Tornadoes missed 11 free throws in the fourth quarter and shot 15-for-32 for the game.
    “We can’t shoot 48 percent from the foul line,” Poland coach Dave Tabor said. “I think that’s the ballgame.”
    Poland led by one point at halftime and used a 14-0 run in the third quarter to build its lead. West Canada Valley’s only points in the third quarter were four free throws by Yaworski.
    West Canada Valley was a 70-49 winner in the junior varsity game.
    Both teams play at home Tuesday, West Canada Valley against Holland Patent and Poland against Dolgeville.
    WEST CANADA VALLEY INDIANS 55, POLAND TORNADOES 54
    POLAND (0-1) — Mark Hennings 2 0-2 5; Max Morrissey 1 0-1 2; Bryce Wenzel 1 0-0 2; Dustin DuBrule 3 3-4 9; Mark Shelhamer 4 3-4 11; Austin Dexter 1 1-6 3; Ross Agen 5 5-8 15; Trevor Pillmore 2 3-7 7; Brett Ryan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 15-32 54.
    WEST CANADA VALLEY (1-0) — Bobby Davenport 2 2-4 7; Jack Minasi 0 1-2 1; Ryan Grogan 4 1-3 9; Mike Sternberg 1 0-0 2; Josh Sudakow 1 0-0 2; Alex Williams 2 0-2 5; Jordan Yaworski 5 11-11 22; Max Searles 3 0-2 6; Ryan Moody 0 1-2 1. Totals: 18 16-26 55.
    Poland    11  14  16  13 — 54
    West Canada Valley    13  11    4  27 — 55
    Three-pointers — Poland 1 (Hennings 1); West Canada Valley 3 (Davenport 1, Williams 1, Yaworski 1). JV — West Canada Valley 70, Poland 49.
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